Briefly noted: this Photoshop composite combines a flatbed scan with a number of camera captures on a lightbox. In Photoshop, I inverted the image to get the black background, and played with layers, layer masking, blending modes, and channel operations.
Some of the brighter stained-glass effects were created by combining slightly off-register layers using Difference blending mode. You never know what will happen until you try!
In a case of creating lemonade when you are dealt lemons, by mistake I shot the lightbox images at a high ISO. (I hadn’t reset the camera from photographing Katie Rose in the NICU.) I processed the high ISO captures for noise reduction and extreme smoothness, which partly explains the painterly effect you see.
[Composite image derived from Epson flatbed scanner and three Nikon D300 captures, one at 1 second, one at 1/4 of a second, and one at 1/15 of a second. All three captures: Zeiss Macro 100mm f/2 ZF Makro-Planar T* Manual Focus Lens (150mm in 35mm terms), f/22 and ISO 2,500, tripod mounted.]
Some of my other butterflies:
Used here on a book cover in the Ringing Cedars series: